Audience: Office 365 for enterprises

Author: Robert Mazzoli, Senior Technical Writer - Exchange


So you’re thinking about switching to cloud-based e-mail in Office 365 or configuring a hybrid deployment between your existing Exchange organization and Office 365.


Have you:

  • Seen the term “federation” throughout your planning and you’re still are a little confused about exactly what it means?

  • Do you wish there was a single place to get the scoop on what “federation” means in Office 365 and Exchange?

Congratulations – you’ve come to the right blog post!


The term “federation” is used widely throughout many of Microsoft’s products and services, but its meaning (and function) can sometimes differ. For Office 365 and Exchange organizations, you will see the following terms and services mentioned:

  • Microsoft Federation Gateway

  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

  • Exchange Federation (or federated sharing and federated delegation)

We’ve posted a topic on the Email and Calendar with Exchange Online wiki that explains the differences between these features and services. This wiki topic will help you make sure that you understand what federation means in these scenarios and its impact on your deployment planning.


Check it out: Federation in Office 365 and Exchange


Additional Hybrid Deployment Resources